Aldi Community Games has been working in partnership with the HSE, Health Promotion & Improvement for the past number of years, to develop the “Steps to Health” which is a community-led health promotion initiative. Volunteers and their areas (clubs) are awarded and recognised for their contribution to promoting health within their communities. They each work towards achieving a set of standards ranging from nutrition and mental health to child protection and youth empowerment. Community Games aim to make 2018 the best year yet for the Steps to Health with a new online portal and revised incentives including monetary rewards and significant points towards the Area Awards.
Minister Catherine Byrne said on the day: “Community development is one of my priorities as Minister for Health Promotion. The Steps to Health initiative, supported by the HSE, plays a really effective part in achieving the aims of Healthy Ireland, by promoting and encouraging community participation in a fun, active and healthy environment within local communities.
I am confident that the new additions to the programme in 2018 such as an online portal, new incentives and a new logo will only enhance the success of this initiative and encourage an even greater take up across the 500 Community Games Areas.
I would also like to commend the work of all the volunteers and Community Games Areas for the valuable roles they play in community health promotion."
The Steps to Health initiative is an opportunity for Aldi Community Games, in association with HSE, Health Promotion & Improvement, to highlight the valuable contribution made by volunteers and participants towards improving the health and well-being of all members of the community. It is based on promoting the following within a Community Games Area:
Many Community Games volunteers are already working on health promotion initiatives and ‘Steps to Health’ has been developed to recognise and reward this work ."
Areas can achieve a Gold, Silver or Bronze standard. The ‘Steps to Health’ can be displayed on all Area promotional materials, letterheads, social media, etc. to highlight the achievement. In addition, it will to contribute significantly towards the points allocation for the National Area Awards, which are held each November. As well as free annual affiliation there are monetary incentives for standards awarded. This initiative aims to recognise the immense contribution of volunteers and reward areas who wholeheartedly embrace the values of Aldi Community Games.
Fergal Fox, General Manager, HSE, Health Promotion and Improvement, Dublin Mid-Leinster added: “The HSE Health Promotion & Improvement unit is delighted to support the Community Games Steps to Health initiative. One of our core priorities is to support the Healthy Ireland framework, which aims to promote and encourage all communities to adopt healthier lifestyles. This includes, what we eat and drink; how we exercise; and of course our mental health. Our hope is to see as many volunteers and areas getting involved in this programme and in turn getting recognition for the wonderful work they are doing introducing children in their areas to the benefits of healthy living.”
Gerry Davenport, President of Aldi Community Games said: “Firstly I would like to thank Minister Catherine Byrne for coming here today and also to Fergal Fox of the HSE. We, as a child-centred and community based organisation, strive to create healthy opportunities for the children of Ireland to participate in a variety of sporting and cultural activities. The Steps to Health is an initiative that recognises the potential and/or real contributions that volunteers and children can make to achieving healthy communities, as set out in Healthy Ireland.
The Steps to Health has been a joint venture between HSE and Aldi Community Games. In partnership, the two organisations have recognised the scope to promoting health and well-being within communities throughout Ireland. As an organisation, we have been striving to promote the health and well-being of all our members. This began back in the early days of 2006/2007 through the provision of healthy eating options provided at the National Festival.
Whilst these initiatives were great to see and to be part of, Aldi Community Games realised that the potential within the organisation lay far greater than within the confines of the National Festival. Since 2012, staff and volunteers from both organisations have been working on developing a health initiative that would benefit the organisation from grass roots up. In 2015 ‘Steps to Health’ was born and it has continued to grow. The ‘Steps to Health’ is an opportunity for Areas to demonstrate the work they do each week in promoting positive healthy lifestyles within their communities. This not only includes promoting aspects of health such as nutrition, physical activity, and mental health but also that of inclusion, youth empowerment, child welfare and peer health. I am delighted to announce the launch of the new Steps to Health Online Portal. The introduction of this portal will simplify the process for recording the achievement of the standards, which up until now, has been quite labour intensive. I am sure that this will incentivise more Areas and volunteers to participate in the Steps to Health over the coming years.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and I am delighted to say with the ‘Steps to Health’ that all aspects of their work can now be recognised.”
The new Steps to Health Portal will be live on January 1st and Areas can start submitting their evidence from then. New incentives include: €200 for Gold, €100 for Silver, €50 for Bronze and free Area affiliation for all Areas who achieve at least a Bronze standard. This is on top of the extra points that will be allocated to you for the Area Awards. Best of luck!
Over 4,000 children participated over the weekend with many going home with a medal - and if they didn't get a medal we hope they had fun meeting old friends and making new ones ;-)
Results are now fully available for you all to view and download.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS
Community Games wishes to express its sympathies to the family and friends of Joe Harrison, father of Pauline Egan, Kildare Community Games Secretary.
Funeral arrangements: Reposing at his residence on Saturday from 6 o'clock until 8 o'clock and from 4 o'clock on Sunday with prayers at 8.30 o'clock. Removal on Monday morning at 10.30 o'clock to arrive at St. Brigid's Church, The Curragh for Mass at 11 o'clock. Funeral afterwards to St. Conleth's Cemetery, Newbridge. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to St. Brigid's Hospice, Moore Abbey. Donations box in the Church.
Our National Area, Volunteer and Media Awards take place this year in the Johnstown House Estate in Co. Meath on Saturday 25th November.
The 2017 Area Awards Scoring Sheet can be downloaded here.
When booking accommodation, mention Community Games to get the following rate:
80 bedrooms in house available for this booking @
€120 bed and breakfast single occupancy
€130 bed and breakfast double occupancy
Aldi Community Games were thrilled to be invited to feature on The Late Late Show to celebrate 50 years of being part of the fabric of Irish Society.
Niall Quinn, Tommy Bowe and Olive Loughnane talked about their experiences (including poor Tommy's defeat by a bearded 10 year old!) in Community Games.
Gerry Davenport, our President, spoke from the audience about Community Games' humble beginnings with the late great Joe Connolly and a team of volunteers back in Walkinstown in 1967. He also talked about where Community Games stands today and the fantastic awareness campaign being run around Ireland by Aldi, our new title sponsors!
Looking forward to the next 50 years!
Congratulations to the thousands of children who took part on 6th May at the National Sports Campus.
Take a look at our little video condensing most of the goings on to 4 minutes.
On Saturday May 6th the state of the art National Sports Campus will host their largest event to date when the first of two Aldi Community Games Festivals this year takes place.
The National Sports Campus and the National Aquatic Centre will have over 2,800 participants arriving on the day - all hoping for gold, but mostly there for the fun!
The first events kick off at 09:30 am. Make sure to leave plenty of time for your arrival at the Campus.
But in the meantime, familiarise yourself with the events and timetable (subject to change) and get to know the campus better by visiting their website. There is a separate timetable for the Swimming.
To find out how to get to the National Sports Campus please see this page
For a list of nearby hotels, please click here
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh welcomes 27 Golden Volunteers from Aldi Community Games to Athlone on Saturday 18th March
As part of Aldi Community Games’ Jubilee celebrations (1967 to 2017), each county was asked to select a nominee for the Golden Jubilee Volunteer Award, someone who has given outstanding service to Community Games since its foundation. The public were directed to the independent.ie website to cast their vote for the overall Golden Jubilee Volunteer Award.
90 year-old Lily Kavanagh received the Wicklow nomination after over 45 years of hands-on dedication. She was one of a small group of people who founded Community Games in Wicklow in 1972. With no money and much fundraising to be done, Lily and her friends staged the first Wicklow County Community Games athletic finals in Bray in the summer of 1973. She attends Community Games area finals every year and opens the county athletics finals in Shillelagh where she delivers her President’s address. She then judges the parade and stays for the rest of the day to present medals.
Lifelong Enniskerry resident Lily Kavanagh had planned to retire from her involvement with Community Games at the age of 60. That was over 30 years ago and on Saturday 18th March 2017 a still involved Lily was crowned Aldi Community Games Golden Jubilee Volunteer in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.
Mícheál Ó’Muircheartaigh commented in his address on Lily’s determination to walk up the ramp to take her place with all the other nominees, even though she had to use the aid of a walker. Lily was just one of 27 worthy and deserving nominees who all were rewarded for their service to Aldi Community Games on Saturday and her story is one that Aldi Community Games is all too familiar with – dedication, devotion, selflessness and never giving up!
“I have so many happy memories volunteering at Community Games over the years," she said. "When we first started many families were very poor and couldn't afford to get involved in the few facilities. It was a huge team effort to change this and I know it has made a big difference to so many people."
Each nominee received €100 euros worth of Aldi vouchers and a personalised gold medallion. Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Arlene Regan of the Irish Independent also presented a delighted Lily Kavanagh with a €1,500 Sunway travel voucher.
Volunteers are the foundation of Aldi Community Games. Gerard Davenport, President of Aldi Community Games, thanked all the nominees and said:
"It is the dedication and hard work of volunteers, which has brought Aldi Community Games to this 50-year milestone. The role of the volunteer is paramount to the success of the organisation. We are deeply indebted to those people who have kept the Games alive by giving their time generously.
With over 20,000 volunteers supporting us in the organisation of events each year, I acknowledge our volunteers as the foundation of Community Games and I extend an invitation to new members to come and join as Adult or Youth volunteers. I would also like to thank Aldi our title sponsors, the Irish Independent, Sunway Travel, the HSE and Kia Motors for their generous support over the last year."
Commenting on the event, Giles Hurley, Group Managing Director Aldi Ireland said:
"I would like to congratulate all the volunteers that have been honoured today and express a heartfelt thank you to the other 20,000 volunteers around the country. These volunteers give so much of themselves to Aldi Community Games and expect so little in return. It is their dedication and enthusiasm that makes Community Games possible, year after year.
It is a great honour for Aldi to support Community Games, particularly in its Golden Jubilee Year."
The Silver Surfer Awards are in their 8th year and our very own Margaret Culloty from Firies in Co. Kerry has been shortlisted!
You'd be forgiven for assuming the beaches of Kerry are where the surfing takes place, in fact the aim of the Silver Surfer Awards is to raise awareness among older people of the benefits of being online and to encourage those who have not gone online to give it a try.
Almost 1 in 5 adults have never used the internet - that’s more than 550,000 people. The majority of these are older people with 53% (280,000) of those aged 60 to 74 never having been online. As of the National Digital Strategy report published in July 2013 (pdf), only 3% of those aged 75 and over had used the internet.
Aldi Community Games introduced an Online Registration System in 2014 and removed all need for completion of handwritten panel forms. While the system was designed to be user-friendly and functional it still requires some IT skills and well, like everything, a bit of practice and training.
Margaret embraced the new system with open arms and not only that, she is helping her Area Secretaries use it too! We had a chat with Margaret today about this "very big deal" (in our opinion ;-)):
“It was a great surprise to be nominated. I started using a computer many years ago to type letters, but gradually began to use it for emails and creating the Kerry athletics programme. Now, we have a Kerry Community Games website for results, a Facebook page, and the national online system as well. It makes life so much easier and there’s a sense of achievement when you learn to do something new. I would tell anyone who is hesitant about using a computer to just give it a try – most of it is trial and error but you’ll get there in the end and it will be worth it.”
We are so proud of Margaret and fingers crossed for her at the finals on 28th March when the winners are announced.
For more information on this initiative see Age Action's page.
The HSE have issued the following advice to the public:
Methanol is contained in solvents, anti-freeze and windscreen wash. It is also called methyl alcohol, carbinol, wood alcohol or wood spirit.
People who drink methanol may initially have symptoms of loss of balance, staggering, slurred speech and eye tremor.
There may be a gap of 12 -24 hours before symptoms of methanol poisoning develop. These can include headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and rapid breathing. In severe cases, convulsions and coma can develop.
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